Chief Emeka Beke, a staunch supporter of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi on Saturday emerged as the new chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
FIRST NEWS had a fortnight ago reported that the party had settled for a consensus arrangement and predicted the choice of Beke and some annointed members for the State Executive Committee.
In a peaceful state congress held at the Polo Club field in Port Harcourt, Beke pulled a total of 1,575 votes out of the 1,615 accredited delegates to beat Chizy Nyeomasila, who scored eight votes, and Japhet Ogbueri, who did not record a single vote, while 32 ballots were voided.
According to the chairman of the Rivers APC Congress Screening Committee, Dr. Abubakar Idris, aside the post of Women Leader, other aspirants for the other positions were returned unopposed.
Mr. Sam Sam Etete Gwom was elected the State Secretary while Chief Chris Finebone returned to his previous position as Publicity Secretary.
The new chairman in a brief speech on behalf of his executives, promised to provide the needed leadership that will make the APC win the 2023 general election and take over the Brick House, the Rivers seat of power.
Our correspondent reports that the election process witnessed accreditation and open secret balloting strictly monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Meanwhile, a faction of the party led by former senator, Magnus Abe has kicked against the conduct of the congress, saying the excercise was nothing but a charade and the results a nullity.
A chairmanship aspirant in the faction, Hon. Golden Chioma, while expressing his displeasure, stated that the outcome of the congress will not stand.
He said: “We have also complained to the National Secretariat of our great party that there was no ward congress in Rivers, and I am of the opinion that you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.
“Since there was no ward congress in Rivers, there can’t be a valid state congress for the state. I and others petitioned the National Secretariat that people have hijacked the ward congress in the state.
“The party then stated how things should be resolved. Those things were not resolved. A faction hacked everything. We petitioned the National Secretariat and a delegation was sent to verify our petition.
“They found out that our petition and complaints were genuine and right. So, we are waiting for the National Secretariat to take a position on that. It will be foolhardy, having complained ahead, to participate in the state congress”.